Chaper 6 Character and Community: From Contracts to Contacts in Science-Fiction Films (Featuring Contact and Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
The stress on truth as the touchstone for argument is surprisingly modern. To people who know only modern science and epistemology, there would seem no credible alternative nor a need for one. Yet people who know inquiries and arguments beyond modern civilization appreciate how much the attempt to turn to truth alone distinguishes societies since the Renaissance and the Reformation. And people who know the politics within actual sciences, no matter how modern, have reason to wonder at the exclusive privileging of truth as evidenced by modern technologies and criticized by modern logics.2 From its inceptions, western civilization has known that the persuasive dynamics of argument in politics reach past truth in the narrow modern sense to credibility, plausibility, cultural figures, and personal experiences that elude the disciplines of modern evidence.